Legitimate Concerns About Excessive Oil Consumption in Acura Engines

A 'service due now' warning light. 'Service due more than you thought' would be a more appropriate warning.

If you’ve recently had your engine’s oil changed, I’m guessing you think you’re good to go for another 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on the oil you’re using. Well, certain Acura owners need to think again.

One of the top complaints about the latest generation of Honda and Acura vehicles is how their V6 engines burn through excessive amounts of oil. Mechanics do their best to place the blame on driver habits but let’s be clear – thousands of complaints point to a deeper problem.

The 2nd generation (2008-2014) MDX, parts of the 2nd generation (2011-2012) RL, 4th generation (2009-2014) TL, and 2nd generation (2010-2014) TSX have all shows signs of neding additional oil in between Acura’s recommended oil change intervals. And some owners who raised their collective eyebrows over this are told it’s normal and denied any request for warranty covered repairs.

What Acura Thinks of Your Excessive Oil Concerns

Acura defines normal oil consumption as using 1 quart of oil per every 1,000-1,500 miles driven. The range in miles is to account for things like the engine’s age and common driving habits like highway miles vs. stop-n-go traffic vs. living out your Grand Theft Auto dreams in real life.

Owners who complain about their oil consumption woes to dealerships are usually told that they should be checking their oil levels as often as they fill up their gas tanks. Now, truth be told we probably all could do a better job monitoring our oil levels – but at every fill up? Acura stands behind that point, however, saying “Modern engines require less frequent oil changes, which may impact the amount of oil used between oil changes.”

It’s not just Acura

Maybe this is the new normal, because similar consumption complaints have been made about Honda (unsurpisingly), Audi / VW, and Subaru

“Engine Oil Consumption Exceeds Client Expectations”

On May 11th, Acura released TSB #18-009 that provides a glimmer of hope to certain owners with consumption concerns. In the TSB, Acura says that carbon deposits can clog up the system and cause problems.

The oil control rings may become clogged with carbon deposits. These deposits restrict the ability to scrape and return oil from the cylinder walls to the crankcase, which can result in engine oil consumption that may exceed client expectations.

If the system is clogged and oil levels are lower than they should be, it can result in a fair amount of damage to the engine. So service departments are now being advised to perform an oil consumption test if an owner complains.

If the test shows excessive consumption, the engine needs to be disassembled so the cylinder heads, spark plugs, and valve seats can be visually inspected for damage. If damage exists, the corrective action is to replace the pistons, piston rings, and spark plugs.

The TSB applies to the following vehicles:

  • 2010-2013 MDX
  • 2011-2012 RL
  • 2009-2014 TL
  • 2010-2013 ZDX

Quick Notes

  • Acura revised their initial oil consumption TSB to update some part numbers. The revised #TSB B18-009 was released on June 2nd, 2018.
  • The lawfirm of Chimicles & Tikellis is investigating a potential class-action lawsuit on behalf on Acura owners experiencing oil consumption problems.
  • There’s a thread on Acurazine.com discussing Acura’s (and service department’s) response to oil consumption complaints. One of the most common themes is “you should be checking your oil more often.”

Where This Problem is Likely to Occur

Model Generation Years PainRank
MDX 2nd Gen 2007–2013 3.99
RL 2nd Gen 2005–2012 0.35
TL 4th Gen 2009–2014 4.35
TSX 2nd Gen 2009–2014 3.64

Story Timeline

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OK, Now What?

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  4. Contact Acura

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